Chapter 7


Page 10

Schaffer — "We would like to know what your company will do in the event of the sidewalks having to be narrowed – will you pay for that?”

Bartnett — "We cannot do that without possibly invalidating our franchise. It is beyond our power to agree to a proposition like that and beyond yours to enforce it.”

It was then moved that they adjourn until 7:30 o'clock October 29. The motion carried.

The ordinance granting the San Francisco Terminal Railroad Company and Ferry Company a franchise was passed to print at the meeting of the City Council, on October 29th.

The councilmen present were Bishop, Boyer, Cadman, Courtney, Dornin, Fitzgerald, Ruch, Wallace, Wixson and President Schaffer.

The ordinance as drafted did not permit the new company to lay any switches along Third Street, between Oak and Union Street, without first obtaining permission of the council. The interlocking system of signals is also incorporated into the franchise, to be maintained and operated at the expense of the new company.

The amendments which were suggested at the meeting of the council on the 27th were first taken up in a meeting of the Committee of the Whole.

Councilman Wallace introduced the amendments which provided for the interlocking signal system, and stipulated that no switches should be put in at Webster and Third, Broadway and Third and Market and Third streets, and further that switches or side tracks could not be placed along the route of the proposed railroad without first obtaining permission of the City Council.

When City Clerk Rod Church had finished reading the amendments proposed by Wallace, Attorney A. A. Moore, representing the Southern Pacific, made a slight objection to the form of the amendment. He said:

"In the amendment it does not state the time the interlocking system shall be put in. We are left in ignorance whether these safeguards will be installed in six months or six years. The corporation which seeks the franchise may defer action by simply promising to put in the system from time to time.

Attorney Reed — The charter provides for the thing which you object to. It states when the work shall be done.

Moore — I have some doubts as to that.

Wallace — I move that the amendments be adopted as read.

Fitzgerald seconded the motion.

Schaffer then presented a substitute amendment relating to laying switches and side tracks between Oak and Union streets. It was in substance the same as Wallace's amendment but was shorter.

Wixson — It seems to me that Mr. Moore's objection to the amendment was well taken. It does not provide for the time at which the interlocking system must be installed.

Courtney — Mr. Donovan representing several protestants and property owners is here tonight and would like to be heard before we vote upon the amendments.

Donovan — I will wait until the amendments are voted on. I merely wish the protests which are already on file here be voted on.

The protests from the Building and Trades Council, the Paper Hangers Union and the Shinglers Union were then read, declaring against granting the franchise, unless there was adequate compensation given property owners along Third Street who would be damaged by the road.
Councilman Wallace then accepted the amendment as offered by Schaffer.

Attorney Moore then asked for the floor. He said:

"I desire to make two objections. It has been said that the Southern Pacific Company was satisfied with the amendments. The first objection made was that the franchise did not provide for the establishment, of a proper interlocking system. The second objection is that there is no time stipulated as to when the system will be put in."

Wixson — Some of the members of the council have stated to me that the charter provides for the commencement of the work, I would like to know if the charter covers that point.

Bartnett, representing the new company, then read the section of the charter providing for the commencement of the construction work within six months after the granting of any franchise to a corporation.

Moore — There is nothing in that section, if read carelessly or carefully, which would apply to the question at hand.

Donovan — There is no specified number of feet which the railroad will be restricted to in laying the tracks. We simply want protection. Another council may let the company place its tracks anywhere.

Wixson — We have no right to bind any succeeding council. We cannot control their acts

Donovan — I would like to call your attention to the way in which a franchise was obtained in Maine by a railroad company. The city council made them buy every foot of land before they granted the franchise. I think the same conditions should prevail here.

Courtney — I am glad the two railroads are satisfied. It is a good thing for the community for the corporations to get together. The Third Street line in my opinion will soon become merely a freight line. I think it is a rank shame that the people on Third Street should be compelled to put up with the inconvenience. The Southern Pacific will have to buy up the franchise sooner or later. It will do that before it will allow another transcontinental line to come in here. The council is giving away a valuable franchise to a few men who which will be auctioned off eventually to the highest bidder.

The vote was then taken on the adoption of the ordinance as amended. The vote stood:
Ayes — Bishop, Boyer, Cadman, Dornin, Fitzgerald, Ruch, Wixson, Wallace, Schaffer — 9.
Nays — Courtney — 1.
Absent — Cuvellier — 1.

The council then convened and passed the ordinance to print by the same vote.

Bartnett, in speaking of the plans of the company, said: "We have already ordered a part of our equipment from the East, including rails and cars. It is our intention to proceed with the construction work as rapidly as possible. We have a few rights of way to be straightened out yet. This will be accomplished shortly.

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